Friday, July 17, 2009

We've lost cabin pressure

It was 8pm by the time we got on the road. The sun was setting in the West, the hunger in the belly was growing, and the road was calling.

It was a bonafide road trip.

It wasn't long before the kids were asleep in the back seat. They had assumed their positions.

Traveling with the kids is not as difficult as one would think. The wifey and I have been traveling with Audrey for sometime, and I am proud to say we have created a seasoned road warrior. She always has her own bag that SHE can pack in what ever way she deems fit. It usually has a coloring book with crayons [markers have been outlawed in the car] , her blanket, and her cell phone with her headphones, and 1 DVD. It's always there.

Now I have blogged about my road trips before. There have been some interesting situations that have come up over the years, but this trip was a different kind of animal.

About a year ago, when I was driving down with my best friend Pat for my wedding, we experienced gridlock about 45 minutes outside of Louisville due to a car wreck that involved a car carrier, 5 cars, a bridge, and what is a car wreck with out an insanely intense fire? We watched a movie on my BlackBerry to pass the time. After the movie Transformers, we were on our way again.

During our road trip for Thanksgiving, Jenn wanted to take the scenic route, through a ditch, and well, ice, plus Jenn, plus snow, equals nothing but pure entertainment.

Then back in May we were driving down for our anniversary, when a deer strike stopped traffic and we sat there for about 15 minutes.

These incidents are just the last 3 times we drove to Louisville to see Jenn's family. It's always an adventure.

Well this trip down was no exception. It was about mile marker 60 on I-71 south when we decided to stop to top off the gas tank, take potty breaks, and let the dog out. Our plan was to stop again in 90 minutes for Jenn to take another break. When we travel Jenn knows all the places to stop for clean bathrooms, because for girls, this is really important. For guys, we would just stop on the side of the road and take a leak.

After we stopped we dug in. Audrey got herself situated again. It was just about 10:30pm by the time we got back on the road. I finally got my earpiece in my ear so I could listen to NPR on Stitcher on the good ole BlackBerry, Jenn leaned back in her chair and put on a movie on the portable DVD, and next stop was 90 minutes. About 3 minutes after getting on the highway, traffic started to get closer together. By 10:45pm traffic was at a stand still. When the truck drivers put their rigs in park, put on the hazards and open their doors. You'd better be comfortable, you are going to be there a while.

I am no stranger to this. Since the last few times I have driven down, this exact act happened before. I rolled down the window and asked the Big Rig driver parked next to us what was happening. In the world of BlackBerrys, GPS systems, auto traffic updates, and radio; CB radio is still more reliable than all of that on the open road.

Word has it that a few miles up the road there was a cargo plane that landed on the highway and hit a few cars. We could hear the CB radio crackling in his cab. Bodies were all over the highway, there was a fire. The equation of a car wreck on the open road is coming together. The Ohio Department of Transportation [ODOT] closed the highway south bound. We assumed we were at mile marker 58. The wreck was at mile marker 50 according to reports.

So we were stuck in an 8 mile back-up that wasn't moving. So here we sit. A child, dog, and pregnant lady stuck in traffic. It had the potential to become very very bad very very quickly. When you are timing out potty breaks, a hold up is not something that is not welcomed.

After quickly assessing the situation, I got out and looked at the median. I checked to see how deep the grass was. Was there any potholes? Are we able to make it, in the event of a turn around? I got back and said we should be ok, then I watched a Suburban, Tahoe, and then a small Explorer make the move. They went, no problems. The rain started to come down, so I made my move before the rain too my opportunity. We went for the median, and made it across to the Northbound lanes We saw a mile marker 53 immediately. We were within 3 miles of the wreck. Jenn went into the hormonal pregnant lady cry.

"Oh my god, if we didn't stop we could have been in that wreck."

However true that is, I believe everything happens for a reason. My grandfather taught me that.

We detoured around the wreck on some back country roads with the aide of my GPS system on my BlackBerry [yet another testimonial story to sell the navigation feature at work] and my Magellian-like abilites to navigate and we found the highway again; 1 exit AFTER the wreck. It was eerie merging onto a highway with ZERO traffic behind you. I spent the rest of the trip scanning radio stations on my Blackberry, FM radio, and AP news wires to see what happened. Nothing.

It was 3am before we arrived.

When I woke up this morning I scanned the Google news sites for news. I found this:

Patrol: Semi left scene after hitting woman on I-71

Not as bad as I thought, but it certainly was not good. The road was still closed by the time we got to our destination.


Just Jules said...

ha amazing! I was traveling with Dearest before we had kids and I got this overwhelming sick feeling and knew we needed to pull over. I made him stop NOW and wait. After a bit of time the feeling passed and we kept on - only to be quickly passed by police and ambulance. A huge pile up had occured while we stopped! ahhhhh.

anyway - traveling. We are planning a road trip out to Colorado in August. But, I guarantee you with 4 kids it will not be as pleasant! or as quiet, and far more potty breaks

w.v. is ballse - can't make this up. I think you are always ball-se.

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